The Bruins travel to Toronto tonight for a big divisional game with the Leafs. Toronto has won three straight, while the Bs carry a 12-game regulation unbeaten streak into tonight's game, having gone 11-0-1 in their last 12.
Jonas Gustavsson will likely start for the Leafs, which is good news for the Bruins, because they've handled him pretty well in recent history. They've scored 8 times on their last 49 shots at Gustavsson. James Reimer is off the IR for tonight's game but will likely be on the bench. Tim Thomas has won his last eight starts, and should be in net tonight for Boston.
The Bruins are pretty healthy right now, so fortunately there's not really anything to report injury-wise. The Leafs, on the other hand, are missing (using that term very loosely) defenseman Mike Komisarek and forwards Colby Armstrong and David Steckel, as well as Reimer. Noted Bruins menace Mikhail Grabovski returned to action Sunday night for Toronto.
Toronto has found their offensive mojo again in the past two weeks, scoring 25 goals in their past 5 games. Phil Kessel, leading the NHL All-Star Game voting, has six points in his last five games, but of course always seems to struggle against the Bs.
Toronto is one point ahead of Boston right now in the standings, with 30 points to the Bruins' 29. But they've played two more games, and with Toronto coming to town Saturday night, a Bruins sweep of this home-and-home could really start to clear up the Northeast Division. By Saturday night, the Bruins could be 4 points ahead of the Leafs with two games in hand. Needless to say, the next two games are huge.
Much has been made recently of David Krejci's recent slump, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say he'll show up tonight and make a difference. I just feel like he's too good to be quiet for so long. And this wouldn't be a Leafs preview without mentioning Tyler Seguin, who had a hat trick the last time the Bruins were in Toronto. Hopefully he can follow that performance with another big game near his hometown of Brampton. Because there need to be more photos like the one used for this preview.
Here's a link to the Leafs' SB Nation site, Pension Plan Puppets, where you can find a series of comments by Corny that we should all go and make green: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2011/11/30/2600714/bruins-at-leafs-hot-streak-vs-hot-streak
And, per Doug, has anyone ever heard "The Bruins will go as far as Krejci can take 'em" outside of 98.5 and HockeyBuzz? Didn't think so. Replace Krejci with Thomas or even Chara and you'd have something.
Bruins@Maple Leafs Time: 7:00 EST TV: NESN, TSN